On the tenth day of an open-ended strike, health care workers from Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital reached an agreement with the hospital.
The bargaining team for the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 829 union, which has been out of contract since June 30, ratified the new contract with a unanimous vote Friday afternoon.
Included in the new contract is a 16% raise over four years, effective immediately, with an additional signing bonus and increased staffing levels for certified nursing assistants.
The contract also removes any language allowing management to unilaterally raise the cost of healthcare benefits. Sequoia Hospital’s workers are the first in the Dignity Health system to do so, according to a union spokesperson.
"Dignity Health is pleased to announce that Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Local 829 (AFSCME) resumed negotiations on July 28 and reached a tentative agreement on a 4-year contract, covering more than 300 technical and service employees at Sequoia Hospital," Dignity Health said in a statement. "We look forward to welcoming our AFSCME-represented employees back to work."
After four months of failed negotiations, the union, which represents 300 health care and support workers, went on strike on June 18, demanding higher wages, more benefits and increased staff.
On Friday, July 22, all striking workers received a letter from Dignity Health warning them to return to work by the end of the month or face losing health care benefits.